Archive for November 2010
- 2002: went back to Saigon with mom and brother, stayed at home or visited relatives. Highlight was Ben Thanh market
- 2004: went back to Saigon alone, went to many coffee shops (windows 3 just opened and I was there everyday), hair salons, massages, clubs, ventured out to Nha Trang for the first time since childhood
- 2007: backpacked the popular South to North route with Felix, took bus (Saigon-Mui Ne-Nha Trang-Hoi An-Hue-Hanoi), train (Hanoi-Sapa-Hanoi), bike (Sapa-remote villages. Picture below was taken on the way back from the remote open market of Can Cau. The sun was setting and these Tay women were trekking home), bus (Hanoi-Haiphong), boat (Haiphong-Catba-Halong), bus (Halong-Hanoi), plane (Hanoi-Saigon)
- 2008: almost 4 weeks solo surf trip to Indo. Bought a shortboard there and rode over the island with it looking for waves. When I got back I was so toasted (from spending 6 hours in the ocean under the scorching sun every day)
- 2008-2010: so many trips around Vietnam (bike, bus, plane,boat, train) and S.E Asia to count (all by planes). Highlights were motorcycling to Cambodia, taking a boat from Phnom Phenh to Vietnam, and driving a car to Mien Trung and back (still can’t believe how I survived the death road that is highway 1).
- 2010: did a 4-week trip around S.E Asia. Saigon-Hue(plane), Hue-Savannakhet (bus), Savannakhet-Vientianne(bus), Vientianne-Bangkok(train), Bangkok-Chumpon (train), Chumpon-Ko Phi Phi(boat), Ko Phi Phi-Sura Thani (ferry), Sura Thani-Georgetown(train), Georgetown-KL(train), KL-Singapore(train),Singapore-Saigon(plane). Epic trip! Too many memories to list here
1 and 2 are popular w/ VK’s, 3 is popular with backpackers. 6 is a bit extreme.
So…what is your evolution?
In VN, an official invoice is obtained from the tax department and it has a red color (hence the name). Once in a while before a customer pays out of his own pocket, he would ask me to change the price to a number that is higher than the actual price of the book. That way when he turns the red invoice in to his company (to get reimbursement), he would pocket the difference. It is easy money for both him and me but I always refuse. Some other customers wouldn’t even buy the books. He just tells to me to bill him anyway. I also refuse.
This way of doing business is very prevalent in VN, especially in the government sector, where there is a budget that needs to be spent by a certain deadline. Since they dont get paid much, it is easy for the employees (and their bosses) to turn rogue. I can’t blame them. It is the country’s modus operandi and they (and many expats) are just playing along . It is me who is not. May be that is why I haven’t been as profitable as I could be. But then I didn’t open the bookstore for the money.
I googled Roger Huerta after hearing his story from a friend. Roger is a 5’9, 155lbs MMA fighter who knocked out an ex Longhorn linebacker (230lbs Rashad Bobino) in a street fight. After Rashad sucker punched a girl from behind, Roger confronted him and was greeted with “Fuck you, fuck these bitches, I’ll knock out any fuckin’ bitch that I wanna fuckin’ knock out, I’ll knock your fucking bitch ass out”. What happened next was a gem.